Using Adobe Illustrator, trouble in tracing and working with a "PNG preview of an SVG file".


Mike Zwingli

New Member
Hello.
This is my first posting in any of the fora on this site. I will begin by relating a little about myself and what I am trying to accomplish.

I am a 49 year old man living in Massachusetts, in the U.S. Over the recent holiday season, I was speaking with my brother about what to do for our mother's 80th birthday, which is coming this spring. Our mother has always been of a literary mindset, to the point that this is the primary characteristic defining her personality. She is a retired teacher of English literature, and still today lectures on that subject and leads book club discussions at the local senior center. Unsurprisingly, she has a fairly large library of books of poetry and other types of literature, amounting to an approximate three to four thousand volumes, many of them antique books, which library is her prized possession. She has for many years, devoted two rooms of her house exclusively to her library, which she uses to this day both in association with the activities that I have just mentioned and otherwise. In fact, my brother and I associate our mother's personal library with her self more than any other aspect of her life. Thankfully, she remains completely independent, and amazingly free from any health problems, so that it seems that she will be able to remain alone in her home for many years. She has, however, indicated that upon her passing, she would like either myself or my brother to take her library and maintain it intact to pass to one of our children. It has been decided that since my brother's daughter Emily has always loved to read, and seems to be bookish by nature, and since he has ample room in his home,that he should be the one to take our mom's library and pass it along, a plan to which our mom has agreed.

Our mother is truly in need of nothing, and she doesn't like cruising or otherwise going away for vacations, so my brother and I have decided to have something special and personal made for her, for her 80th birthday. What we have decided on is to have an embossing die made for her, that she might personalize the items of her personal library by embossing the flyleaves of her books with a personal stamp, as we have seen done elsewhere in old books from personal libraries. After having ascertained that it is best to submit a vector design to an engraver for the production of a brass embossing die, my brother and I have decided that I will be responsible for obtaining said vector design, and that he will then be responsible for obtaining the die and counter using that design.

I come here in an effort to solve a problem that I am having in creating the vector design to be used in the creation of an embossing die for my mom. I have decided that it might make the gift to my mother more personal to try to produce the vector design myself, using a friend's copy of Adobe Illustrator, as opposed to having the design made for me from a drawing of my concept. My concept for the design (to which my brother has agreed) is circular, which best befits an embossing die. Typed on an arc in the upper register of said circle will be her name, and typed on an arc in the lower register of the circle will be the well known Latin aphorism: "AMOR VINCIT OMNIA". Since my mom is a retired teacher from the local public high schools, and because they coincidentally reflect the aforementioned aphorism, I have decided to use elements of the local city seal, namely a heart and laurel wreath, in the center of the entire achievement, below my mother's name and above the aphorism.

I can do the typing on an arc using that feature of Illustrator, but I don't, however, have enough skill to draw the central elements, nor do I have the pen and tablet that I would need to do so. My solution to this was to try to perform an image trace of the city seal and to erase all of it but the central elements, and then build my design around it. I successfully got the "PNG preview of an SVG file" to open in Illustrator, and succeeded in performing an image trace on it, so that I believe I had a vector image of the seal. I then found, however, that I could not use the eraser tool of Illustrator to erase anything on the image, though, and I am not sure if that is the result of the type of file that I traced, or if there is some other reason why. If anyone has any ideas about the issue that I am facing with respect to this, I shall be appreciative for your feedback. If I cannot become able to work with that image, then I will have to pay someone to produce the design for me, which will be okay, but my gift to mom will seem to lose some of the personalization that I hope for thereby.

Thanks in advance for any feedback that is rendered regarding this matter.
Cheers,
Mike
 

scotty

Moderator
Staff member
I hope it's a problem as simple as this possible explanation.

Have you "Expanded" the image that you traced?
On the top, above the artboard there is a button "Expand" this releases what you've traced (which is kind of a preview) into editable vector shapes that you should be able to manipulate.

Be aware.
There is a window for the image trace options that has a lot of settings including advanced settings for things like making anything white, transparent.
 

Wardy

Well-Known Member
Unfortunately, Image Traces are not very editable. Are you able to delete the bits you don't want beforehand, in something like Photoshop?
 

Wardy

Well-Known Member
If you can post a large image of the seal, I can remove the bits you don't want, then you can trace it again.
 

Mike Zwingli

New Member
Have you "Expanded" the image that you traced? On the top, above the artboard there is a button "Expand" this releases what you've traced (which is kind of a preview) into editable vector shapes that you should be able to manipulate.
Thanks, Scotty. No, I didn't realize that such an action was necessary. As I said, I am a true novice at working with Adobe products, so that even the interface is strange to me. I will give that a try within the next 24 hours, and will let you know how it goes. i am not sure about the options window to which you refer. According to the engraver, though, what I am looking for is, indeed, a black and white vector illustration.
If you can post a large image of the seal, I can remove the bits you don't want, then you can trace it again.
Yes, Wardy...I will try "expanding" the image as Scotty suggested, and see where that gets me; I might take you up on that offer if that action avails nothing. I guess that to do so, I would simply use the "Attach files" button underneath this window?
 

Mike Zwingli

New Member
Just a brief update.
Thing is....A SVG (Scaleable Vector Graphic) should open up in Illustrator.
...and he was quite right. I opened the SVG file in Illustrator, and it was imemediately evident that I could work with it, since all the paths and anchors appeared. I think that the problem I had formerly resulted fromm my havind opened the PNG preview in Illustrator, rather than the SVG, which prevented me from manipulating the image. I got all the bits of the SVG erased that I wanted. To be continued...
 

scotty

Moderator
Staff member
COOL!

Glad you got to the bottom of it.
I do understand the learning curve is a bit like a brick wall in Illustrator and it can be frustrating.

If you run into any trouble, post on here and we'll do our best to help.
 

Mike Zwingli

New Member
(...continued) I'm back. Sorry...a little spill. Yes, Scotty, learning the capabilities and interface are difficult because of their imposing nature, with all of the myriad things that can be done. I'll tell you, Adobe has filled its niche well with some very capable software. Thanks much, I'm sure that I'll run into one or two more snags before I'm done with this.
 
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